Issue 4 Editorial


When I first read  Billy Collins's Ballistics, I summarised it as: “Time passes. Things change. It's sad.”*

Time has passed for Antiphon. This is our fourth issue, so we've been going a whole year. Things have changed. But there's been very little sadness involved. Quite the opposite, in fact. Rosemary and I are still friends, and both remain relatively unscarred. Our little magazine is no longer quite as little as we thought it might be, with hundreds of hopeful submissions and over a thousand visitors for each of the three issues to date.

Over the year, we've been pleased to have some well-known names offering their work, but even more pleased by the quality and range of work from relatively unknown poets. For that's still our aim: to offer opportunities for the many excellent poets around who've had less chance to be heard than their work deserves.

Antiphon has grown a little in that year, although we've aimed to keep the number of poems, articles and reviews in proportion. This issue, we decided to allow ourselves to accept more than one poem from poets we particularly like, so that's meant this issue is just a little larger than before. Hopefully we’ll continue to grow in this controlled way, a few poems at a time.

It has been hard work, and that's the main reason we're not likely to let the magazine get much larger, despite its success. However, we're seriously thinking of producing a print anthology of the first year's work, which would be a significant next step. If you'd be interested in such a thing, you might drop us a line.

We've been delighted with the response to our call for sonnets and are pleased to publish traditional examples as well as those that play with the form. In all cases we've selected work where the form works with the poem, enhancing its musicality and meaning, rather than controlling it. It's good to see that the sonnet works well with contemporary language and some very modern subject matter.  We have interspersed the sonnets with our usual variety of other excellent work.


As we look forward to our second year with issue 5, we thought it might be appropriate to invite poems on the theme of Time. As always, we’ll accept good poems on any subject. We suggest a theme in the hope of prompting poets to try something unusual or more inventive, and to give the magazine a little unity, of course.

Unfortunately, Time is a bit of a cliché as a theme, likely to generate any number of poems about winged chariots, the inevitability of loss, the ageing process, nostalgia, regret, autumn and winter. These aren’t really what we want to see. Unless (as for any subject) they’re really good, original, musical poems, of course. What we really hope for is poems with an original slant on time—maybe some aspect of time travel, or musical time, or time zones, subatomic time, time’s arrow, anachronism, entropy, the time of your life, the end of timeyou get the ideasomething different. Time for something new.


*You may surmise I was a bit dismissive of Collins's work. I'm now a reformed character.

round lichen